Tamil cinema star Kamal Haasan, who had last year threatened to leave India in the light of controversies surrounding his film 'Vishwaroopam,' today pledged his "commitment" to the country and expressed hope he would not leave it.
Hours after arriving here after receiving the prestigious Padma Bhushan award in New Delhi, the actor admitted he had felt "more emotional" today.
In an apparent reference to his earlier being at the venue to receive the Padma Shri in the 1990s, the actor-director said since he had been there earlier also, he thought he would not be as moved as he was the first time.
"I was in for a surprise. I felt even more emotional this time," he said in a statement.
"I thought age would have brought about skepticism or even pragmatism since after all, politicians are also involved in this selection process, but I felt myself moved to tears," the actor said.
Seeing stalwarts and champions around him, he for a moment forgot about corruption, horse-trading, rapes and "other misdemeanours" of some of his fellow countrymen, the actor said.
"I looked around me, proud to be among the champions, absolutely humbled by all the talent and achievement they stood for. I once again pledged my commitment to the country and hoped I won't have to leave it in anger in future. I found myself to be positive."
"I am proud of to be an Indian. It has all to do with Indians and nothing to do with state of Indian politics and politicians," he said.
He saluted the faceless heroes with whom he was yet to be acquainted with.
Upset over hurdles caused by the ban on the release of the mega budget film, an emotional Kamal Haasan had said Tamil Nadu did not want him to stay in the state and he might seek a "secular" place in the country or overseas, on the lines of exiled painter M F Hussain.